Store Owner’s Guide

Installation ↑ Back to top

  1. Download the .zip file from your WooCommerce account.
  2. Go to WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New and Upload Plugin with the file you downloaded with Choose File.
  3. Install Now and Activate the extension.

More information at: Install and Activate Plugins/Extensions.

Requirements ↑ Back to top

The extension requires:

  • WooCommerce 3.4+.
  • A WordPress hosting environment that supports background processing through Action Scheduler, the task queuing system built into WooCommerce.

Note: Action Scheduler may fail to process background tasks if WP Cron is disabled on your system, or if your server is unable to “talk to itself” (perform loopback requests). When this happens, WooCommerce updates may fail to install, and other important tasks (such as e-mail deliveries) will not be processed.

Getting Started ↑ Back to top

Back In Stock Notifications helps you recapture lost revenue by notifying customers when your sold-out products are restocked. Back-in-stock alerts are a proven way to re-engage customers: Some studies suggest that up to 20% of the customers who receive a stock notification will return to complete their purchase. Here’s how the plugin works, in a nutshell:

  1. Customers who land on a sold-out product page are prompted to sign up with their e-mail.
  2. When the sold-out product becomes available, an automated notification is sent to all customers who joined the waitlist.

After installing and activating the plugin, make sure that out-of-stock products are visible in your catalog: Customers will not be able to sign up for back-in-stock notifications if out-of-stock products and variations are hidden. To confirm this:

  1. Navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Inventory.
  2. Make sure that Out of stock visibility > Hide out of stock items from the catalog is disabled.

Sign-Ups ↑ Back to top

The plugin adds a small sign-up form next to the “Out of stock” availability status of sold-out products and variations:

Signing up for a back-in-stock notification e-mail.

To sign up for a back-in-stock notification:

  • new (logged-out) customers must first enter their e-mail, and then click the Notify me button; while
  • returning (logged-in) customers only need to click the Notify me button — the e-mail field is not added to the form in this case.

If you would like customers to provide their explicit consent when signing up, the plugin lets you add an opt-in checkbox, along with your terms, before the Notify me button.

Under WooCommerce > Settings > Stock Notifications, you can also:

  • Customize the form and form-button text.
  • Display the number of customers who have already signed up.

Note: It is only possible to sign up once per product/variation with the same e-mail. When viewing a product or variation they have already signed up for, logged-in users see a short text with a link to manage their notification preferences instead of a sign-up button.

Sign-Up Confirmations

When a customer signs up, the plugin schedules and sends an confirmation e-mail that includes an opt-out link:

Receiving a sign-up confirmation.

Note: The sign-up process is single opt-in. A double opt-in process will be added to the plugin in the future.

Guest Sign-Ups

The plugin can be configured to create a new account for every guest who signs up with a new e-mail. Enabling this option is not recommended unless the list of users on your site is actively synced with an e-mail marketing platform.

It is also possible to require guests to log in before they can sign up. This is useful if checkout on your store is limited to users who fulfill specific criteria.

Variable Products Support

The extension is fully compatible with Variable products. When a customer signs up to be notified when a Variation is back in stock, the plugin:

  1. Stores the selected variation attributes.
  2. Displays them in confirmation and notification e-mails.
  3. Restores them when the customer returns to your shop by following the link in the notification e-mail.

Note: It is only possible to sign up once per variation.

Notifications ↑ Back to top

When a product or variation is restocked, the plugin:

  1. Prepares a list of customers who have signed up to be notified when the specific product or variation becomes available.
  2. Starts sending notification e-mails in batches.

By default, this process is triggered when the stock status of a product or variation changes from the Out of stock to the In stock status. However, it is also possible to define a minimum stock quantity for triggering notifications. This is useful if you have a few units of a product or variation that you want to restock, but don’t want to notify everyone on its waitlist.

To keep resource usage as low as possible, Back In Stock Notifications leverages Action Scheduler – a robust task queuing system built into recent versions of WooCommerce. This allows the plugin to send thousands of notification e-mails without issues.

Note that when you restock a product or variation via the Products > Edit Product screen, the plugin adds a helpful notice to let you know how many signed-up customers will be notified in the next few minutes. The entire process is fully reversible: If you change the stock status/quantity back to its previous values while the system prepares to send the first batch of notifications, the process will be cancelled and no e-mails will be sent.

Getting a back-in-stock notification.

Customizing E-mails

Confirmation and notification e-mails sent to notification recipients follow the standard transactional WooCommerce e-mail format. The templates added by the extension are called:

  • Back In Stock Sign-Up Confirmation; and
  • Back In Stock Notification

Both can be customized under WooCommerce > Settings > Emails.

Opting Out of Notifications

Registered customers can manage their notification preferences through a dedicated Account > Stock Notifications page. Customers with an account can navigate directly to this area by following the “unsubscribe” link found in every confirmation and notification e-mail.

Customers without an account are also given the freedom to stop receiving back-in-stock alerts by clicking the same “unsubscribe” link. In this case:

  • Clicking the “unsubscribe” link inside a Sign-Up Confirmation e-mail deactivates the notification for the specific product/variation.; and
  • Clicking the “unsubscribe” link inside a Notification e-mail opts the recipient out of all notifications associated with their e-mail address.

Configuring Settings ↑ Back to top

After installing and activating the plugin, you will be prompted to navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Stock Notifications in order to review and configure the following settings:

Sign-up form text — Text to display at the beginning of the sign-up form.

Sign-up form button text — Sign-up form button text.

Minimum stock quantity — Stock quantity required to trigger stock notifications when restocking.

Require account to sign up — Requires guests to be logged in in order to sign up. Note that this setting does not hide the sign-up form for guests: It redirects them to a login page and prompts them to log in into order to complete the sign-up process.

Create account on sign-up — Creates a new account for guests who sign up for stock notifications. If the provided e-mail is already associated with an existing user, the plugin will not create a new account.

Display opt-in checkbox — Displays an opt-it checkbox that requires customers to provide explicit consent in order to sign up.

Display signed-up customers — Appends a paragraph to sign-up form, which lets visitors see how many customers have already signed up.

Signed-up customers text — Use these fields to customize the text appended to the sign-up form when Display signed-up customers is enabled.

Viewing Insights ↑ Back to top

The plugin comes with a dedicated Dashboard that allows you to check its operational status, and quickly check key insights mined from your waitlists. Navigate to WooCommerce > Stock Notifications > Dashboard to:

  • View the number of notification sign-ups and delivered notifications in the last 30 days, along with a 30-day bar chart.
  • Find out which out-of-stock products in your catalog are in high demand right now, based on the number of customers who have signed up to be notified when they become available.
  • Discover which out-of-stock products are the most long-awaited in your catalog, based on the number of days that have passed since the first notification sign-up.
  • See which products in your catalog have received the highest number of sign-ups in the last week, month, or quarter, irrespective of stock status.

Combine this information with sales analytics data, and use it to:

  • make better demand forecasts for products that are sold-out often,
  • prioritize new orders or expedite deliveries for items in high demand,
  • export customer details and send updates to those waiting for highly anticipated items via your favorite e-mail marketing platform.
Check key insights mined from your waitlists by navigating to WooCommerce > Stock Notifications > Dashboard.

Managing Notifications ↑ Back to top

Viewing Notifications ↑ Back to top

Notification sign-ups for all products are listed under WooCommerce > Stock Notifications > Notifications. A notification can be Active, Queued, or Inactive:

  • When a customer signs up for a back-in-stock alert, a notification is created and added here with an Active status.
  • When the product/variation is restocked, the notification is Queued for delivery. As soon as it gets processed, a notification e-mail is sent to the customer and the notification becomes Inactive.

Notifications can be filtered by status, customer e-mail, or product/variation. To view a list of customers currently waiting for a product/variation to be restocked:

  • Click the Active status on the top left of the list table.
  • Search for the product/variation and select it.
  • Apply to refresh the table.

It is possible to export the entire list, or filtered lists of notifications, in a CSV file. This is useful if you wish to import contact details in your favorite e-mail marketing platform/tool. To export notifications, click the Export button next to the “Notifications” page title.

Viewing notifications under WooCommerce > Stock Notifications > Notifications.

Creating Notifications ↑ Back to top

To create a notification for a customer manually, click on WooCommerce > Stock Notifications > Notifications > Add New. It is not possible to create multiple notifications to a user/e-mail for the same product/variation ID.

Questions & Support ↑ Back to top

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